The Offbeat Bride: Sarah, English Teacher
Her offbeat partner: Tasha, Mental Health Counselor
Date and location of wedding: The Villa Victora Center for the Arts, Boston, MA — April 13, 2013
Our offbeat wedding at a glance: We tried, throughout the wedding process, to be as low-key and low-stress as possible. We gave the wedding party the option of wearing whatever they wanted to (although this freedom stressed some of them out). We didn't try and make the wedding party traditional, in the sense of the same number of people on each side. I had four bridesmaids and a best man, while Tasha had two bridesmaids and a best man. We also had four flowers girls, and my tiny three-year-old brother as the ring bearer. In lieu of a cake, we had a sundae bar, and instead of cutting the cake together, we made a delicious sundae.
We had to frequently remind our family members that this was not a strictly "traditional" wedding. For example: I had my father walk me down the aisle (in the more traditional fashion) and kissed my mother at the end, while Tasha came down a spiral staircase alone, and kissed her parents at the end of the aisle.
Our DJ, Dmitri, is a local karaoke host at a dive bar in Dedham, MA which mostly serves the over-60 crowd. He played an eclectic arrangement of music, but most importantly, he sang all of the slow songs. And by sang, I mean, this man has one of the best, well-rounded voices I have ever heard. He sang "Moon River" for my father/daughter dance, Josh Groban and Frank Sinatra, among others. This combination of DJ/singer was a total hit!
Tell us about the ceremony: Our officiant, Linda, is my mother's best friend, and she is one of the kindest and most resilient people I know. Her voice alone can calm a room, and we knew she was the perfect person to marry us. She gave a beautiful introduction, which included a plug for legalizing gay marriage everywhere, and then she introduced two readings. My friend, Marina, who I have known since second grade, read a poem by W.H. Auden called "Foxtrot From a Play."
Tasha's friend from college, Addie, read a Maya Angelou poem called, "Touched by an Angel." Tasha and I shared our promises and exchanged the rings. Linda jumped the gun because she was so excited, and before we had even gotten the rings on she shouted, "I now pronounce you married; you may each kiss your bride!" It was lovely.
Our biggest challenge: It was definitely difficult to save money for the wedding because I was doing an unpaid internship during the planning process. We tried to find ways to cut costs and still make it beautiful! One way we tried to cut costs was by making our own save-the-dates, but they turned out horrifically ugly, so we laughed at our lack of artistic skills, and succumbed to ordering them online. We tried to be all about DIY, but make sure you know your artistic strengths before you tackle a project.
The biggest challenge the day of was making sure that we both got our hair and makeup done. Tasha's amazing sister, Arielle, was doing our hair, and my best friend, Tara, was doing our makeup. Since Tasha and I were apart from each other while getting ready, they were running around like mad women. I am not sure how they managed to get themselves dressed as well. In retrospect, definitely leave double the amount of time you need for hair/make-up, especially if you don't typically do your makeup.
My favorite moment: Having all of our family and friends come to celebrate with us was probably one of the most meaningful parts of our wedding. We sat at a sweetheart table on the stage, and just took a moment as we were eating dinner to look out at all of our friends and family. To see everyone enjoying themselves, mingling, and just being in the moment of our wedding, was truly breath-taking.
What was also really amazing was when we walked out of the ceremony, we found a little corner by the elevator and just fell into each others arms. We hugged and cried, and embraced a moment of alone time before we had to greet all of our guests. Even though it was in a random corner by an elevator, those few moments made the entire day special and real.
My funniest moment: Tasha and I wrote our own vows, and didn't disclose them to each other prior to the wedding. It was funny to hear how similar some of the vows were: Tasha said, "I promise I will dress up for Halloween every year, but I don't promise I won't complain about it." While I said, "I promise to get as excited about Christmas as you do, provided that you always dress up for Halloween. And I promise to read the Grinch to you on Christmas Eve."
Then I said, "I promise to grow exceptionally old with you. I promise to walk down the street confusing passers-by who can't understand why the two old sisters are kissing and holding hands. I promise to always be that passionate for you." While she said, "I promise to share the responsibility of correcting people who ask if we're sisters."
Another funny moment was when Tyler, Tasha's brother and best man, said in his speech that ever since he was a little boy, he had always dreamed about giving the best man speech at his sister's lesbian wedding.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Catering: Above and Beyond Catering
- Photography: Mark Stern
- Awesome bridge tattoo: Cathy Johnson. This tattoo is based off a recurring dream that I had for two years. I could never get across the bridge, and then one day, I did. My part of the tattoo is a bridge falling down running into a complete bridge. It ends with a puzzle piece, and connects to a complete bridge on Tasha's arm that runs off into an unfinished bridge. The panorama represents our lives being chaotic, then coming together, and now we will finish them together.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!